Longtime Jackson Hole High School girls varsity basketball coach Sean Shockley has resigned from his post to take over as executive director of Jackson Hole Youth Basketball.
Shockley, who has also stepped down as an assistant coach of the football team, began coaching the Broncs varsity girls basketball team in the 2000-01 season.
“It was really hard for me to walk away from high school athletes, the time and relationships with kids,” he said. “I really simplified my life. I’m going back to the foundations of the game and building programs from the grassroots level ... It’s a good move for my family, and I’m excited about it.”
Shockley said his new position with Youth Basketball lets him remain involved in athletics, as he has been for the past 26 years at various levels in Jackson, while allowing him a better shot at a home life.
“It gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my family and still have the ability to influence kids and shape basketball careers,” he said. “It’s a little less stressful.”
Shockley coached the girls basketball team from 2000 to 2013 and 2016 to 2019. The years between he was the head coach of the boys basketball program in Jackson.
Shockley’s initial stint as the girls coach resulted in the first girls basketball state championship since 1991 when the Broncs took the title in 2007. That win set off a run of four straight state championships.
When Shockley returned to the girls team in 2016-17 the team had won just four games over the three seasons he was away from the program. In his final season at the helm of the girls varsity basketball team this year, Jackson went 2-20. The Broncs went 0-2 at regionals, though they nearly upended top-seeded Kelly Walsh before falling, 41-39.
Teton County School District No. 1 Activities Director Mike Hansen said the head coaching job was posted last week. The school is open to receiving applications both internally and externally, with the primary goal of the job search to find someone to return the team to its winning ways.
“We’re looking for the most qualified candidate,” Hansen said. “They could have coached for anyone or anywhere. We want a candidate to bring us to the next level, build strong relationships with the students, and fulfill the goals we’re looking for.”
Hansen hopes to begin interviewing prospective successors next week. There is no timetable to choose a new coach, though Hansen said the sooner, the better.
“I don’t want to rush the process in any way,” he said. “We want to get it done soon, but we’re not just going to hire the first person that applies.”
Shockley doesn’t expect to be involved in the coaching search process but hopes to continue to be a resource for basketball players at all levels.
“I’ve changed my focus to the youth levels, but as kids need gym time, players want to work on skill development, I’m more than willing to work with high school boys and girls or whoever wants to be worked with,” Shockley said. “I definitely want to see their success in the future as well.”